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Predators draft: CHL

While the Predators are under contract limitations, the focus has been clearly to draft Europeans or NCAA-bound prospects. However, with 18 picks, Nashville couldn't completely ignore the CHL. Other than overagers, they selected 4 players from the various junior league (4/18 or 22%). All but one of those picks happened in the fifth round or later. It is also notable that three of the four players drafted from the CHL were defensemen. GM Tremblay expressed that "the Predators only went to the CHL when the value was absolutely tremendous, and it seems that it was mostly defensemen that were available in spots where they should have been long gone".

The only prospect drafted before the fifth round was Vince Dunn early in the third round. Probably the best skater (start/stops, mobility and speed) on defense available at the draft, Dunn also has excellent offensive upside. He sees the ice well and loves to jump into the play. His terrific acceleration lets him carry the puck effectively across the ice. On the powerplay, he is very good either at distributing the puck or as the triggerman.

In the fifth round, Nashville selected Connor Hobbs from the Regina Pats. Hobbs had an up and down season, performing poorly for Medicine Hat before being traded to Regina. He had a strong end of the year where he displayed his best side. He is good at getting the puck out of his zone either through passing or skating it out. He has a good gap control and anticipates the play well. On offense, he can support the forwards and maintain the pressure.

Then in the seventh round, the Predators picked a late season riser in Jeremiah Addison. A late bloomer, Addison had never showed much offense in the OHL before this season, but as he got comfortable in a more offensive role he kept improving at a fast pace. In the playoffs, he was the offensive catalyst for Ottawa, scoring at a pace of a goal per game. On top of that, he plays a good defensive game.

Then at the end of the draft, in the eight round, Nashville traded for an additionnal pick when they saw that Colton White was still undrafted. While not being a very exciting prospect, White is a very steady, mistake-free and efficient defenseman. His positioning is close to perfect, he's always calm under pressure and alright picks the right guy to cover. His skating is good enough to defend against the swiftest opposing players.